I'm in my first competitive fantasy baseball league this year and I've been wondering, what is the point of having position players on your bench if they might play a maximum of once a week for your team? For example, my team has Hank Blalock and Stephen Drew on the bench. Wouldn't I be better off by picking up two starting pitchers to take their place? At least those pitchers can be used when they play.
It varies from league to league, but in most leagues, there is a maximum number of innings your pitchers can accumulate during a season so you can't throw as many pitchers out there as you want.
Position bench players give you a slight boost in stats even if they only play two games a week. Consider in a normal 5x5 league, 4 of the 5 hitting categories are counting categories where with just more playing time, your team will almost certainly benefit. Those two games can easily contribute to runs, home runs, runs batted in and stolen bases and those games add up on a week to week basis or over an entire 23+ week fantasy season.
also it's insurance. many players get banged up throughout the season and most don't play all 162 games. therefore, you want some bench position players to plug in when your regulars are getting their rest or just banged up. of course, your bench position players become more important when the injuries suffered by your regulars are severe enough for them to be placed on the disabled list (DL). and if this is your first year, you will notice that it's very often that a player gets placed on the DL. in fact, there are some players who just can't stay off the DL (harden, prior, wood, bradley, etc.)
but you are right. sometimes you may have too many bench position players and notice that they're worthless putting up stats on the bench. so don't go excessive with them.
BitterDodgerFan wrote:you will notice that it's very often that a player gets placed on the DL. in fact, there are some players who just can't stay off the DL (harden, prior, wood, bradley, etc.)
Great answers, guys. Thanks a lot.
Along with what I quoted above, is there a website that has a list of "band-aid boys"? A list of the type of guys you should try to stay away from because they suffer significant injuries year after year?
Also, if you are playing H2H, you can play your bench guys occasionally when your starters have a day off. It can be a bit 'dicey' replacing say Utley w/ Mark Derosa but if you get lucky, your backup can contribute to your weekly totals. Multiposition guys can be handy for this as, after the first couple of weeks, the schedule usually gets out of sync in terms of who is off when.
Having a bunch of SP is ok but, if you are 'overstocked' on SP you can run into spots where you can't get them all in the lineup too which can get in the way of getting full return on your 'investment' of a pick in a bunch of guys on your bench. The first week, your ace(s) go first, #2 guys go second, etc. but, as the season moves on, teams have travel days and that sort of thing that will mix up the order and who is pitching when. I hate getting into the 'which SP do I play this week?' questions as it seems to be a coinflip and you can get smoked picking the wrong one!
BitterDodgerFan wrote: but you are right. sometimes you may have too many bench position players and notice that they're worthless putting up stats on the bench. so don't go excessive with them.
Great advice here. I ran into this problem last year with a UT spot. I was rotating Beltre, Youkilis, Hardy and Iwamura early on in the season trying to play the hot hand. I was chasing stats and it was more trouble than it was worth.